I went yesterday to see Dr Myskow in Edinburgh. I was super nervous in the morning and had a bit of a upset stomach but once we got on the train I calmed down significantly. I was incredibly grateful that we had first class tickets – quieter, more room, a table, WiFi and phone charging facilities all helped to pass the time in comfort.
The clinic is just over a mile from Edinburgh Waverley station and was a pleasant walk down Princess Street. The clinic itself seems quite small but comfortable. Dr Myskow came down to introduce herself and take me to her consulting room overlooking the river.
She asked me how I’d made the decision to transition and whereabouts I was in the process. She went through my medical history, measured my height and weight and reviewed the blood test results I’d taken with me – she complimented me on my facial hair which she said was impressive considering that my testosterone levels were significantly lower than expected. We talked about my social situation and family background and some of the experiences which have shaped my life. It was actually quite nice to talk to someone who understood how it feels and sees it as normal rather than exotic or special – the best word to describe it is validation.
She explained the process which she insists on (and mirrors that of GICs) – the initial appointment with her followed by a second assessment by a psychiatrist. Once those assessments have been completed I can arrange a follow up appointment with her and assuming that all is well she would administer my first testosterone injection. She recommended that I see Dr Yellowlees in Glasgow for the psychiatric opinion and is arranging a referral to him. The appointment was about an hour long and cost £250.
Initially I was disappointed that I had to see a psychiatrist (incurring extra expense and adding another delay in getting a prescription) but that was because I was expecting to see a GP with an interest in gender dysphoria to start a bridging prescription. What I didn’t realise is that Dr Myskow, before retiring into private practice, was the clinical lead of the East Lothian gender identity clinic and as such was/is one of Scotland’s foremost experts on the issue. The result of this is that when the assessments have been completed I will have an official diagnosis which starts the countdown for a gender recognition certificate and can potentially look at getting top surgery in 12-18 months time.